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The Last Days of New Paris

The Last Days of New Paris

A Novella

Book - 2016
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In the chaos of wartime Marseille, 1941, American engineer--and occult disciple--Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist Andre Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever. In 1950, a lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts--and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse. But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties--to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself."-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345543998
Characteristics: 205 pages ; 22 cm


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Jan 08, 2020

Every China Mieville book is markedly different from the others with the only common elements being superbly imaginative stories and delightful word play that cognitively challenge the reader. The Last Days of New Paris is no different. But reading it is a difficult, phantasmagoric journey of the bizarre, not surprising considering its premise is the release of surrealist art lifeforms called "manifs" (for manifestations) on war time Paris. At its core, the plot is a simple quest story of good vs evil vs worse evil that takes place in a distorted landscape warped by freakish phenomena. If you are not familiar with surrealism and the movement’s founders, read about them before tackling the book. Then when you pick up the book, go to the very end where the author has a helpful glossary of surrealist information and read it (wish I had discovered it sooner!). Now you’re ready for a wild ride, perhaps on an Amateur of Velocipedes.

Apr 06, 2019

Reading this book is like being in a Dorothea Tanning painting, on a never-ending loop.

Sep 05, 2017

Quirky and compelling, surrealism and the art world will jump out of the pages and a few exquisite corpses will be seen along the way. Amazing summer beach or pool as well as a thriller that will make that hot chocolate and blanket by the fire a safe place, as this book goes where no one will tread in an alternative universe.
Hint, to fully enjoy, print out a map of Paris with the arrondissements and popular landmarks clearly identified. Then read the Notes section in the back with definitions of characters and "beings". Then dive in. I did not want it to end....

Aug 05, 2017

Wonderfully it was not what I was expecting. If you enjoy alternative history books, a la Harry Turtledove, you will almost certainly hate this book with a passion. It is beautiful, wonderful, strange and most of all surreal. Less a story than a work of art. Whether you like it or hate it you will come away with a vastly different viewpoint than anyone else will, even if they agree with you it won't be the same impression they had.

May 29, 2017

It's Mieville, it's Surrealism, it's anti-fascism. Yup, it's like someone took all of the good things in the world and stirred them together. The conceit is a bit faded, but the story rips along and will have you pawing for Wikipedia or your Art History textbook to fill in the gaps. In the best way. A story of urban guerrillas that never happened, utilizing the gun-toting avante-garde to fight Nazis and demons. It's as great as it sounds.

Phil_R Sep 02, 2016

Great book if you don't mind re-re-rereading over and over to find a bit of ground to stand on. With the short, 140 page length though it's no bother and well worth it.

Aug 31, 2016

A story put together as if (real) surrealist art illustrated a story. For those familiar with the genre, probably amazingly creative: for the rest of us maybe (anyway for me) seems self-indulgent. Nothing wrong with that, of course but personally I skipped to the Notes section.


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